Fast Food Nation (15)

PUBLISHED: 11:45 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation

EVER wondered what is in those lovely juicy burgers that most of us eat? Well, Fast Food Nation could well shed some light on the subject. The film is a non-fiction thriller that has been inspired by Eric Scholar s best-selling expose of junk food compa

EVER wondered what is in those lovely juicy burgers that most of us eat?

Well, Fast Food Nation could well shed some light on the subject.

The film is a non-fiction thriller that has been inspired by Eric Scholar's best-selling expose of junk food companies.

For years fast food companies have been blamed for ruining landscapes, and widening the chasm between the rich and poor. And, of course, fuelling the epidemic of obesity.

By using Scholar's book, director Richard Linklater has turned his expose into a thoughtful inquiry into the contradictions of contemporary American life.

And by using three interchanging stories, Linklater examines different parts of the American food chain.

From the illegal immigrants in the run-down meat processing plants, to the burger-slinging teenagers behind the counters, and the restaurant chain executives who make all the decisions.

However, one particular executive, Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear), has a guilty conscience. Leaving the confines of the comfy boardroom, he sets out to uncover how contaminated meat has found its way into the company's best-selling burger.

Working his way through the disgusting slaughterhouses he quickly realises that the company has been serving up some pretty awful grub.

Other characters central to the stories include Catalina Sandino Moreno and Wilmer Valderrama's two Mexican immigrants and Kris Kristofferson's disillusioned ranch worker.

But it is Kinnear's high calibre performance as the guilty marketing mogul, that stands out. He is strong in his comic scenes and when the script requires he goes deeper and darker without missing a beat.

Jumping back and forth between these stories allows Linklater to examine a range of astonishing perspectives and study the business of beef from farming and production to sale and consumption.

Linklater covers a lot of ground and the result is a funny, moving and intellectually demanding movie.

Fast Food Nation is an impressively acted gourmet meal served up by a master chef.


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